UMass Lowell Alumna is Fulfilling Her Dream!

Ever feel like quitting your job? Or, traveling the world? Or, starting your own business? UMass Lowell alumna Taylor Kloss did all of these in the course of three months.

Taylor earned her B.A. in Business Marketing from UMass Lowell. While at the university, she served as a co-captain of the university’s field hockey team when they won the National Champion for the first time. After graduating, Taylor worked as a Marketing and Sales Manager for the world’s largest live family entertainment company, Feld Entertainment. Taylor did a lot of soul-searching and decided that after six years with Feld, it was time to take a big leap of faith. She left her job in the spring of 2013 to travel and discover new opportunities.

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Taylor returned to Massachusetts with a passion to help small businesses rule the world! By combining her experience, zest for new challenges, and passion for helping others, Taylor created Creative TK Consulting in the fall of 2013 to help small businesses.

Taylor’s work at Creative TK Consulting includes:

  • Creative project planning and implementation
  • Graphic design
  • Social media management
  • Email marketing
  • Event planning
  • Partnership outreach
  • Press relations
  • Blog design and content creation
  • Photography

Last August, I met Taylor at a planning event for UML’s Homecoming Weekend. I began working for her shortly after. I assist her with social media management, proofreading, and other marketing projects.

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What I love about working with Taylor is the one-on-one time that she gives her clients. She sits down with them regularly to learn about their goals and desires and makes a marketing plan based on their conversations. Furthermore, Taylor’s days at work are filled with excitement. She works with clients in Boston, Portsmouth, Newburyport, and other locations that she gets to visit regularly throughout the week. Because she is her own boss, she has the privilege of making her own schedule and gets to do a little bit of everything, which requires her to be flexible and willing to learn.

While you are at UMass Lowell, I suggest pushing yourself to reach out to alumni. This can mean going to networking events at the university, or reaching out to Career Services or the Alumni Office. UMass Lowell alumni want to help you throughout your academic and professional journeys. Speaking from a student’s point-of-view and my own experience, there is nothing more inspiring than seeing someone, who was in your shoes at UMass Lowell, succeed at doing what they love.

Who are Those Students Walking Around in Suits?

Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.

This year, I have had the privilege of being a UMass Lowell Student Alumni Ambassador. Through the Student Alumni Ambassador Program, I have had the opportunity to spend time with and network with a variety of alumni, develop my interpersonal and professional skills, and learn what it means to be a future UMass Lowell alumna.

The first goal of the Student Alumni Ambassador Program is to foster and promote the development of relationships between alumni and the entire University community. Specifically, the Program creates relationships between alumni and students, faculty and staff through University events.

The second goal of the Program is to connect current students with the Office of Alumni Relations and University Advancement. The Office of Alumni Relations works to engage, connect, and reconnect alumni and students to create a strong UMass Lowell community all around the world. University Advancement creates a culture of engagement and philanthropy for alumni, parents, friends, corporations, foundations, faculty, staff and others in support of UMass Lowell by building, cultivating and stewarding long-lasting relationships to secure private financial support to advance the mission of the University as it becomes a world-class institution.

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Currently, there are about twenty Student Alumni Ambassadors. All of the Ambassadors meet at least once a month for a two-hour session of briefings and workshops. There are several University events that the Ambassadors are required to attend throughout the year. In addition to the required events, Ambassadors are invited to other exclusive events where they meet and interact with alumni.

If you are interested in becoming a Student Alumni Ambassador, applications will be available online here in January 2015 (only a couple days away!). Feel free to reach out to me with specific questions regarding the Program by commenting on this blog or emailing me at Thalia_Chodat@student.uml.edu or emailing the organizers of the Program at SAA@uml.edu.

MSB & DCU Innovation Contest 2014

The DifferenceMaker Manning School of Business and Digital Federal Credit Union Innovation Competition took place last night, December 3rd, from 6-9pm in the Saab ETIC Atrium on North Campus.

The judges were Jim Regan, President and CEO of Digital Federal Credit Union, David Araujo, VP of Information Systems at Digital Federal Credit Union, Scott Latham, Interim Dean of the Manning School of Business, and Holly Butler, the Director of the DifferenceMaker Program. Professor Steven Tello, Associate Vice Chancellor of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development of UMass Lowell, MC’ed the event.

Bears

“The Bears”, made up of team members and business students Joseph Baglio and Meghan Foster (another MSB blogger), won the top prize of $500 each, in addition to $200 for making it the finals. The team won a total of $1,200 in prize money. They pitched an idea for a subsection budgeting banking system app for DCU. This app will help DCU clients budget their money into different categories to promote organization and assist visual learners.

Congratulations, The Bears! You both did a terrific job of representing the Manning School of Business at the DifferenceMaker Competition. Good luck pursuing your entrepreneurial venture!

A Beginners Guide to Social Media

social-media-appsIt is no surprise that social media is one of the most popular forms of marketing right now. Although that is the case, many of us struggle to stay on top of changes in the social media scene. Below are tips, regarding hashtags, links and content, for social media beginners to create effective posts on Facebook & Twitter.

Hashtag | The hashtag is used to mark keywords or phrases on social media platforms. It links users who are talking about the same topics. It can be used on Twitter, Instagram & Facebook. To increase the value of your hashtags, follow the advice below

  • Limit your hashtags to 1-3 per post. The affect is minimized when they are used in excess. Your posts will appear more relevant & professional if you maintain a maximum or 3 per post.
  • Teach your audience how to use your hashtag. Believe it or not, hasthtags are a part of your brand. In order for your hashtags to be useful & hopefully used by your audience, you need to teach your audience how to use your hashtag. Do this by being consistent with the hastags that you use. For example, if your Organization’s name is Support Our Students, will you always write #supportoutstudents or #SOS? Or both? Whatever you decide, be consistent.
  • Stay in tune with what’s current. In order for your posts to reach your audience, you should try to be as “hip” as you can while staying true to your content and brand. For example, if it’s the holidays, if there’s a huge sports game that day, or if there’s a social issue that’s trending on social media, try to make your posts relevant to that. Even though this requires more work, because you have to stay up-to-date with what’s trending on social media, it will ultimately result in more effective posts.
  • Avoid being overly specific. Hashtags such as #imalwayslate #ilikecrackersonmondays, don’t get a lot of traction. If your specific hashtag has a purpose, such as trying to connect with a certain niche or because you are trying to be intentionally over-the-top, then you may use it. For everyday posts, though, try to stay away from them.

Links | Links are wonderful for social media. Viewers respond well to them, and if people are viewing the link you are sharing, this can be extremely resourceful for you. If you track your social media or review analytics, you can see this. Below are a couple tips to get the most our of the links you share.

  • Erase the link URL on Facebook. This is a Facebook trick that a surprisingly large amount of FB users still do not know. After you post a link into your FB post, you can delete the actual URL. Make sure that you allow the link box to load in the draft of your post, and then you can delete the URL of the link, and press “post”. This way, your posts look seamless & professional.
  • Personalize the link image on Facebook. After you have posted a link the draft of your FB post, you can customize the image that shows. You can do this by clicking the bottom of the photo where it reads “Upload Image” usually in pale white writing.
  • Shorten the link for Twitter. Naturally, we all struggle with advertising on Twitter because you only have so much room to write your message. This can make it challenging to include links in your posts, because links take up so much room. In order to shorten a link, you can (and should) sign up for bitly (https://bitly.com/) which is a website that shortens your links for you. Super cool.

Content | Prose is not appreciated on social media as it is in other settings. If you want to share more than a paragraph, do it through a blog or link to a website. Otherwise, it is more than likely that your audience will disregard your post.

  • Take Action: Encourage your audience to take action by starting posts with “Get involved today!” or “Win a cash prize”, etc.
  • Relevant: Keep the posts relevant to the time that you are posting it. For example, post detail-oriented & live event posts during the day, and share creative and thought-provoking posts in the early morning or evenings when you audience is more likely to take the time to read them.
  • Pictures: Images are always more successful at grabbing viewers’ attention than words. Use them wisely by using high quality photos and posting live photos during events and throughout the day.
  • Maintain Branding: No matter what you want to post, make sure that you relate it back to your organization. You can do this by explaining how you are involved in the event, photo, or website that you are sharing. You can also do this by including your logo and color scheme on as much online marketing material as possible, such as graphics, photos, and links.

Drop-in Advising Sessions Coming Up

The Enrollment Management Committee of the Manning School of Business is pleased to announce Drop-in Advising Sessions! All sessions will take place in the lab, Pasteur 205 on the following days:

Thursday, October 23rd 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm
Monday, October 27th 9:30 am – 11:00 am
Thursday, October 30th 9:00 am – 10:30 am
Tuesday, November 4th 11:30 am – 1:00 pm
Wednesday, November 5th 2:00 pm – 3:30 pm

Registration for Spring 2015 semester courses begins on Monday, November 3rd through iSiS student self-service (based on enrollment appointments). Please make an appointment with your advisor or stop by one of these sessions to talk about your schedule for the spring!

Your Resume Won’t Get You Hired

Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.

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“I wish someone had told me this when I was your age…” This is the good old prelude that everyone 14 through 25 hears enough to feel indifferent. Fortunately, I am discovering that the information that follows this introduction can be extremely valid. For example, the advice about resumes that my boss has been sharing with me and my co-interns has opened our eyes to the purpose of a resume, and how to use one properly.

The advice he has given us so far is written below.

1)      Your resume won’t get you hired. What it will do, though, is get you through the door. Very few people have been hired based on words written on one sheet of paper. The goal of the resume is to do one thing: to pique the interest of the prospective employer and to bring you to the next step, which is the interview.

2)      Looks matter. Your resume must be esthetically appealing, as humans are apt to pay more attention to things that are appealing to the eye. This doesn’t make the prospective employer shallow. What it does mean, is that they are serious about who they want to hire. A visually appealing resume shows them that you care, you pay attention to detail, you care about your brand, and want to give off the best possible impression to those around you.

3)     Tell a story. Humans like to be walked through information in an eloquent yet concise manner. Your resume shouldn’t solely explain what you did in your previous positions. It should explain how you impacted the company’s business, how you helped them reach their goals (mission statement, yearly goals, ROI, etc.), and, most importantly, what you did differently to make your time there matter. Examples and numbers are effective ways to show evidence of this.

4)     Don’t just apply. It’s important that you don’t send along the same version of your resume to a bunch of companies. Tailoring your resume for a specific position will give you a leg up on the competition. It will help you learn more about the position you are applying for, and show the prospective employer that you understand what the company is looking for and that you hold the characteristics they are looking to attain in an employee.

At the end of the day, most people don’t land positions because of their resumes. Nevertheless, every bit of effort helps. Also, often it’s worth absorbing advice given by elders – even if they start it with a cliché lead. Good luck & resume on!

Get Me Out of Here

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Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.

 

I have hit a turning point in my internship. I had the most terrifying phone call of my life today.

Today began as a day just like every other. I picked up the phone to call some prospects in California around 11:15am (8:15am their time) as I do just about every day. I am greeted by a calm man, and I proceed to share with him why I am calling him. He allows me to introduce our firm and I feel a slight wave of relief as he listens without interrupting my pitch. As I finish my last sentence, I am taken aback when the man erupts into a fiery rage. He has gone from cool and collected to livid and hollering in about 10 seconds.

As I respond to his hollers rapidly with the responses I practiced in training, I can see my coworkers gather around me in anticipation. I continue to do my best to try to calm the prospect and hide my shocked reaction at the same time. Unfortunately, my face is already tomato red. My coworkers stare at me for the tiniest bit of explanation for my red face. To them, it sounds like I am having a productive phone call with an inquisitive prospect. Little do they know…

In another attempt to appease the executive on the other line, I hand the conversation over to a senior wealth advisor. The conversation continues between them – emotions still roaring – with no success.

I was left confused, offended, hurt, and very red from blushing in shock.

The experience has both scarred me, and empowered me. I still have no understanding as to why the man on the other line was so wild, and I probably never will. That’s not what matters though. For me, this served as practice to be on point. It reminded me how crucial it is to know your material, for any and all positions you hold, and to know how to articulate that material.

At the end of the day, the man on the other line earned nothing from his behavior. I, on the other hand, gained more practice and confidence. So, I move forward!

I Have Officially Chosen Gas Over Mascara

Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.

I have officially chosen gas over mascara. As I stared at my online banking account, it was clear to me that I had to choose to spend my last available 20 dollars on one of these two necessities. My heart leaned toward mascara, but my brain knew that I wouldn’t be able to make it to work unless I made a sacrifice. So, I filled my tank.

This is only one of the many pivotal changes that have occurred this summer due to my new responsibilities as an intern. Below, I will list some others.

  1. I no longer listen to Kiss 108 or 103.3 AMP Radio. The upbeat hip hop and pop songs that once represented long beach days and late nights now ring in my ears and seem to be limited to about 5 songs on both of these stations. Instead, I have resorted to 92.5 The River and Oldies 106.7 which calm me, and don’t remind me of my commute to and from work, filled with traffic and anticipation of my arrival home.
  2. Emails are no longer a professional buffer and alternative to phone calls and texting. Instead, they are an everyday tool for communication between both people I know very well, and don’t know at all.
  3. My collection of flats has transformed from cute shoes I wear with cropped jeans to shoes sitting at the floor of the passenger seat in my car, only retrieved as a functional shoe to wear while driving.
  4. Weekends are no longer a time to hang out with whomever whenever, but are instead a time to strategically plan activities and people to see. My time has become more valuable and I certainly don’t want to waste the limited amount that I have free.

I am quickly learning that internships teach you more than how to be professional and how to write a signature on an email. This summer is teaching me how to manage my time, and how simple luxuries such as music and attire hold much more value as you enter the professional world.

On the upper hand, most of my work involves phone calls, which means that the people on the other line can’t see my mascara-less eyes, right?

 

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My Goal This Summer: To Be as Pale as Possible

Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.

 

We are finally in the prime of the summer. The rain of May has dwindled into flowers and beach weather in June. Vacations have begun and the fourth of July is around the corner.

The view is a little different than usual on my end this summer. Instead of waking up slowly and working late into the night as a waitress, I am waking up with the rest of the commuters and hitting the hay shortly after the sun sets. The yellow that surrounds me is not that of the rays of the sunshine, but the light yellow-tan color of the walls of an office building and the blue of the clear sky has been replaced by the blue background of the desktop that I work on seven hours out of the day.

This summer I am working at a private wealth management firm in Marlborough, Ferris Capital. My job, along with five other interns, is to help the firm with business development. I am to learn the ins and outs of the company in order to learn Ferris Capital’s specific mission and value-add and to broaden my knowledge of the finance industry, and to reach out to prospective clients.

When I tell people my summer plans, they either think that I am “on the right track” or absolutely crazy to willingly give up my summer as a 20-year-old to an office job five days out of the week. Only time will tell which is true…

Here, I plan to write roughly once a week about my experiences during the internship. I am posting the first three a little late, so bare with me on the order of the posts.

Feel free to reach out throughout the summer by commenting on the post via Facebook or emailing me at Thalia_Chodat@student.uml.edu with questions about resumes, internship/co-op searches, interviews, internship attire, time management, etc.

Thalia internship photo

Wish me luck!

UMass Lowell is a Trick

Disclaimer: Anything written in this blog represents the opinions of the author, and no one else. Each blog is written lightly, and is not intended to offend any of the mentioned businesses, locations, students, or staff.

UMass Lowell is a trick. It has the immense variety and amount of resources that universities tend to have, but at the same time it has something different mixed into the large community. What makes UMass Lowell different is that it gives students the opportunity to become a tightknit team of professionals and students who have the same goal: to learn & to do their best in every endeavor.

I can speak to this specifically from my experiences as an undergraduate studying at the Manning School of Business. The first week of my freshman year I was thinking, “Does anyone know that I exist? If I fail, does it even really matter to anyone here?” Boy, was I foolish to think that. It didn’t take long for several of my professors to know me by name and to inquire about my life and background. And, they actually cared.

Now, as I conclude my sophomore year, the same community from the Manning School of Business is supporting my efforts to better my academic and professional careers. One individual in particular who I have had the pleasure to meet and spend some time with is Dean Kathryn Carter.

Dean Carter seems to be this omnipresent figure at the Manning School of Business whose job is to advocate for our education and success on a large scale. It’s easy to forget about her daily tasks to support the Manning School of Business because she is not present in our classes or dorms. Fortunately, the Manning School of Business’s Dean’s Student Leadership Council has organized the first ever Dean’s Forum to increase one-to-one interactions with students and the Dean.

photoIn her own words, Dean Carter describes the Manning School of Business in her Dean’s Message here: http://www.uml.edu/MSB/About-Us/Deans-Message.aspx. A quote from her message that explains why the Dean’s Forum is so important for the MSB is, “The Manning School of Business is administered with a ‘students first’ philosophy, which makes professors, advisors, staff, administrators and the dean accessible to students.”

The Dean will be in Pasteur 301 on Thursday April 17th from 12:30pm to 1:45pm. She will chat a little bit about the Manning School of Business advising changes and the new Pulichino Tong Business Building to be completed in 2016. Afterward, she will leave the floor open for students’ questions and comments about anything at the University and specifically the Manning School of Business. The purpose of the forum is to let students know that the Dean is a resource for them and that she treasures students’ perspectives.